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Venture Bros. watch order: How and where to watch The Venture Bros. (and maybe how not to)

The Venture Bros. is over. Watch it all over again as the creators intended... or not.

The Venture Bros.
Image credit: Adult Swim

The Venture Bros. is a an oasis in a desert of adult-oriented animation, and the recent movie Radiant is the Blood of the Baboon Heart capped off a 20-year journey of the action comedy which started as a thin parody of how screwed up Jonny Quest is when you think about it for five seconds grew over a generation into a rich world of its own, filled with characters we laughed, grew, and cared about even as they evolved to, well… mainly parody Silver Age Marvel Comics.

The Venture Bros. in chronological order

The Venture Bros.
Image credit: Adult Swim

While many Venture Bros. episodes frequently feature flashbacks to events which took place before the start of the show, most episodes appear in the same order. This viewing order accounts for heavy flashback episodes anchored at the first or central flashback’s point in time, although the framing device for that flashback always places it within the present day of the show. A chronological viewing of the series is fairly straightforward, with the exception of a few special episodes.

The Venture Bros. in release order

The Venture Bros.
Image credit: Adult Swim

This one is pretty simple. Everything is listed for you in order on the Max streaming service by time of this piece’s publication, though rumor has it that the series may be delisted soon. So, if that happens, keep this handy to make sure you know where to watch all the specials and such.

There is... another way.

The ORB.
Image credit: The Venture Bros, Adult Swim

If this isn't your first go around the old Venture compound, and you're looking for a new way to experience the series, we have a list which may cater to your particular appetites. For this order, we've arranged the Venture Bros. episodes featuring flashback sequences in the order those flashback sequences take place. We absolutely do not recommend using this viewing order the for experiencing The Venture Bros. for the first time. We might actually not recommend it at all. But if you're open to seeing the Venture Bros. timeline from a new perspective, then come with us on this journey.

  • S3 Ep. 11, 'ORB' – Colonel Lloyd Venture and his cohorts in the Guild complete his work on The Orb. In-fighting leads to the foundation of the Guild of Calamitous Intent, a term coined by Guild member Oscar Wilde. Eugen Sandow, Colonel Venture’s bodyguard, acts to keep the Colonel from activating it.
  • S4 Ep. 5, 'The Revenge Society' – Phantom Limb’s grandfather, Fantomas, recruits Red Mantle and Dragoon as members of the Guild of Calamitous Intent. They may or may not have actually been Buddy Holly and The Big Bopper. We also see the end of the 'ORB' flashback.
  • S7 Ep. 5, 'The Inamorata Consequence' – Venture Industries releases the H.E.L.P.eR. robots to the public. They are recalled when a baby almost chokes on a H.E.L.P.eR. unit’s eye.
  • S6 Ep. 3, 'Faking Miracles' – The Blue Morpho and his sidekick Kano meet Team Venture, rescuing them from Scaramantula on Spider-Skull Island.
  • S6 Ep. 4, 'Rapacity in Blue' – Jonas Venture films a sex tape with Blue Morpho and actresses Jill St. Johns and Stella Stevens.
  • S7 Ep. 3, 'Arrears in Science' – Jonas Venture uses the sex tape to blackmail Blue Morpho into working for Team Venture.
  • S6 Ep. 8, 'Red Means Stop' – An eight-year old Rusty Venture jumps on a prank grenade to save his dog, puncturing his kidney. His father removes it using a local anesthetic.
  • S5 Ep. 4, 'Spanakopita!' After attending the wedding of Jacqueline Kennedy to Aristotle Onassis, Team Venture arches supervillain L. Ron Hubbard.
  • S1 Ep. 6, 'Ghosts of the Sargasso' – Team Venture’s Major Tom dies testing an experimental aircraft over the Bermuda Triangle.
  • S3 Ep. 9, 'Now Museum–Now You Don’t' – Team Venture rescues a nine-year old Rusty from the Fraternity of Torment, and claim their base of Spider-Skull Island as a secondary headquarters.
  • S1 Ep. 2, 'Careers in Science' – Venture Industries films an employee recruitment video for their new space station, the Gargantua-1.
  • S6 Ep. 7, 'A Party for Tarzan' – Disguised as tennis athlete Billie Jean King, Blue Morpho retrieves a jade dragon stolen by Dr. Z.
  • S2 Ep. 5, 'Twenty Years to Midnight' – Jonas Venture receives a transmission from space warning him of the dangers of his latest invention.
  • S1 Ep. 1, 'Dia de los Dangeros!' – The Summer of the Monarchs. The Monarch’s parents die in a plane crash over the New Jersey Pine Barrens, leaving their son to be raised by monarch butterflies.
  • S3 Ep. 7, 'What Goes Down Must Come Up' – Jonas Venture invites the children from a local orphanage to tour the Venture Compound fallout shelter, who become trapped there by a rogue artificial intelligence.
  • S3 Ep. 6, 'Dr. Quymn, Medicine Woman' - Rusty Venture is playmates with Tara Quymn. His would-be first kiss is interrupted by his father making out with Tara's mother at a Venture compound key party.
  • S4 Ep. 6, 'Self Medication' - Rusty gets therapy for his issues with his father from his own father.
  • S1 Ep. 11, 'Past Tense' – Rusty Venture attends State University with Pete White, Baron Underbheit, Brock Samson and The Monarch.
  • S7 Ep. 2, 'The Rorqual Affair' – The Guild of Calamitous Intent organizes a raid on the Gargantua-1, resulting in the reported death of Jonas Venture.
  • S2 Ep. 3, 'Assassinanny 911' – Brock Samson joins the OSI and trains under Colonel Hunter Gathers.
  • S5 Ep. 5, 'O.S.I. Love You' – Brock Samson kills Molotov Cocktease’s father at the Goodwill Games; Molotov kills Brock’s partner.
  • S4 Ep. 12, 'Everybody Comes to Hank’s' – Rusty Venture knocks up the president of his fan club.
  • S3 Ep. 3, 'The Invisible Hand of Fate' – The origins of Billy Quizboy, Phantom Limb, and Brock Samson’s assignment to the Venture compound.
  • S3 Ep. 1, 'Shadowman 9: In the Cradle of Destiny' – The Monarch meets Dr. Girlfriend while henching for Phantom Limb.
  • Pilot, 'The Terrible Secret of Turtle Bay' – The 'present' of the Venture Bros. series begins here.

You can follow the release order from here on out, with a couple exceptions, as previously mentioned in the true chronological order: watch 'A Very Venture Christmas' before Season 1 Episode 11, 'The Trial of the Monarch,' and watch the specials 'From the Ladle to the Grave: The Shallow Gravy Story' and 'A Very Venture Halloween' after the Season 5 premiere, 'What Color is Your Cleansuit?'

The Venture Bros.
Image credit: Adult Swim

Where can I watch The Venture Bros?

As of this article's publication, all 7 seasons of The Venture Bros. and its specials are available on Max, Spectrum TV, and adultswim.com through your cable provider. adultswim.com also features a free 24/7 streaming marathon channel for most Adult Swim programs, The Venture Bros. included.

The movie, Radiant is the Blood of the Baboon Heart, is available for digital rent or purchase, and on blu-ray, if you still happen to have a blu-ray player somewhere.

Do I need to know anything about Jonny Quest before I start watching The Venture Bros?

Absolutely not. Seasons 1 and 2 are filled with small, specific references to the original 1964 run of the show, but The Venture Bros. has thousands of reference points to pieces of culture that aren’t Jonny Quest either. Some of the jokes will be laser-targeted at your specific pop culture experience, others will sail over your head. Such is the nature of the beast. In the immortal words of Joel on Mystery Science Theater 3000, “Not everyone will get it, but the right people will.”

Why did it take 20 years to make 7 seasons and a movie?

Because the two guys who ran the show, Doc Hammer and Jackson Publick, insisted on micromanaging every single part of the development process themselves. That and constant backroom network indecision and hemming, the exact nature of which we’ll probably never be privy to.

Will there be more Venture Bros. after the movie?

Right now, Manic 8-Ball says 'Outlook not so good.' When The Venture Bros. was canceled in 2020, no one expected we'd get the opportunity to see the show off with a movie. In an interview with Mashable, the creators shared that the movie was the result of a compromise with the network, truncating their plans for an eighth season into the events of the film. At the moment, it seems like the show is finished, though not by the creators' choice. Barring an unforeseen change of events, it does look like this is the end.

Well, great. What do I watch now?

You can always start over from the beginning, or with one of our alternative viewing orders. Otherwise, we have a few recommendations. We know we just said you don't have to watch it, but you may appreciate the original Jonny Quest series a lot more by going back to it with Venturefied eyes. You may find yourself imagining the creators watching specific scenes and writing jokes about them that found their way into the show. Jonny Quest is streaming on Tubi, and Boomerang.

Christopher McCulloch, known to Venture fans by his pseudonym Jackson Publick, got his start before The Venture Bros. working on The Tick, which has many of the same comic sensibilities of affectionate genre parody. All three versions of The Tick television show, the animated series from 1994 (on Hulu), and the live action series from 2001 (on Crackle) and 2016 (on Prime Video), are worth visiting in their own right.

For a more contemporary adult animated series, we'd like to recommend Dicktown on Hulu, which similarly features a washed-up boy adventurer clinging by bare threads to his glory days. Dicktown features John Hunchman, a grown-up former boy detective who never left his hometown and still solves mysteries for children. Featuring John Hodgman as its main character, as Venture Bros. fans may recognize from his role as the beloved OSI wiretap monitoring agent 'Snoopy.' The Venture Bros. may be over, but like the films and shows gone by that the show itself paid homage to, it will forever live on in the many cool people and projects it has inspired in its 20 year run. Go Team Venture.

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About the Author
Alex Jaffe avatar

Alex Jaffe

Contributing writer

Alex Jaffe is a columnist for DC Comics, answering reader-submitted questions about the minutiae of comic book history. He also hosts the Insert Credit podcast, where he's been asking the smartest people in video games the weirdest questions he can think of since 2012. ReedPOP is Alex's place to write about Star Wars, his "vacation universe" away from DC, but he may be persuaded to occasionally broach other topics. A powerful leg kick makes this goon the meanest guy in the gang.
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